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The Infinitive of Go

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The first practical matter transmitter was a success, or so everyone thought. In spite of paranoid security restrictions, Justin Williams and Cinnamon Wright, co-inventors of the device, counted on it to revolutionize civilization and gain them an honored place in history.

But the first long-distance field test with a human being—a diplomatic courier carryin
Mass Market Paperback, 154 pages
Published January 12th 1980 by Del Rey
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 ·  183 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
A critically injured astronaut is transferred to the surface via an experimental matter transmitter, only to materialize as an ape from an alternate dimension. An ape who shares the astronaut’s name and background, but who comes from a world where apes evolved intelligence in ‘parallel’ with Homo Sapiens of our world.

Turns out the ape society knows about this potential cross-over effect, but his injuries were severe enough to compel him to risk being stranded. It also turns out that every transm
David B
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Testing their newly developed teleportation technology, Dr. Justin Williams and his team discover that their test subjects are being shifted into parallel universes whose difference from the universe of origin increases in proportion to the distance the subject has been sent. Not a bad idea for a novel, but John Brunner fails to develop his theme adequately in this thin volume. Brunner's forte is really more toward the societal aspects of speculative fiction rather than technological extrapolati ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I found it a little difficult to read--not only the mathematical speculation; even the dialogues and descriptive paragraphs struck me as hard to follow, as if nothing were worded the easy way. Still, a great combination of colorful yet well-argued sci-fi. And Cinnamon is the first female scientist character I've seen who sounds disarmingly smart rather than engagingly sexy. ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is how speculative fiction is supposed to work. It even made me look up some of the underlying science and math just because I wanted to understand better than was necessary to follow the story. Creativity trigger: check. Compelling drama: check.
Nathaniel Lee
Jun 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
This is one of those books where you just know the author read some sort of paper in a scientific journal and got his panties in a bundle about it. It was a pretty good read, relatively light for all the high-end mathematics talk that got thrown around. I suspect that if I were better at math (i.e. anywhere beyond Pre-Calculus) I'd either be a much bigger fan or I'd be frothing in rage at the stupid. As a know-nothing idjit, I'm quite content to let the sci-fi author have his little conceits and ...more
Izzy Corbo
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
More of a 2 1/2 star novel. I read a novel last year with similar theme: teleportation device opens up parallel worlds and crazy kooky mayhem happens! This novel was fun and quick romp at just under 160 pages. I wish the novel was a little longer to flesh out the characters but definitely a decent read.
sacha kenton
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
great movie idea, someone else will snatch it up before me i'm suuure. but i'd watch it! ...more
Kurt Hansen
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The nice thing about John Brunner's books is that there is a surface story (which is usually enough to sustain the reader) and then a deeper layer or two. ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's The Infinitive of Go
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - April 15, 2014

I'm not exactly cranking out the reviews so far this yr. That's partially b/c I'm in the midst of very slowly reading William Gaddis's The Recognitions AND Florian Cramer's Anti-Media. As such, I squeeze in the relatively easy reading of Brunner bks in the midst of the Gaddis & the Cramer to give myself a rest - wch is NOT to say that the Brunner bks are inferior!

The Infinitive of Go revisits Brunner's
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, hate-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Rainwater
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
A short novel about a teleporter that gets you to the right destination but the wrong reality.

Two scientists try to work out bugs in their new teleporter, which works great for inanimate objects but has a tendency to send humans to the right place in the wrong universe. For the observer, it seems the person who arrives is a little (or a lot) different than the person who embarked. For the traveler, it seems the entire world is little (or a lot) different upon arrival.

Lots of set theory is thrown
Susan Butcher
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matter transmission seems to be one of John Brunner's favourite subjects, but unlike Larry Niven, Brunner is mainly concerned with the psychological and philosophical implications of the idea. In this story we have a crisis sparked by a wonky device that shifts human subjects sideways in time as well as from place to place. Since it's not possible to match the characteristics of the transmitter to the receiver exactly in every respect, the unfortunate subject skips to a parallel world where the ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really entertaining and interesting short novel from Brunner, one of the greats in the genre. In a way this is similar to his "Web of Everywhere" novel, but instead of economic reactions to being able to teleport anywhere, this story invokes a world of infinite universes. They have developed a machine that can "post" someone or something to the a recipient module almost instantly. The problem at hand is that the world on the other end is different in subtle ways. The further one is po ...more
Kay Hawkins
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Sorry to say I have to give this book a Bad review. I enjoy John Brunner and feel I'm probably one of the few who still know his name and get excited to see his books on the shelf these days. I liked the idea of this book but I think it is one of his weakest books. The Idea and concept is good but the execution is bad. With th the short chapters and consistent jumping around for such a small 150ish page book I wonder if this was anouther case of 'force of hand.' This story would be better in a m ...more
Will Sargent
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this a while back and it hasn't stuck with me all that well. Deserves a re-read, despite a majority of middling reviews, as I struggle with sci-fi books from this era that throw a lot of technobabble at me. It's only 160 pages so where's the harm? Oh year, I've for 2,000 books with 160 pages waiting to be read. Doh!
George Eraclides
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Matter transporter raises interesting ideas of possible worlds and even transfinite numbers (Cantor). The ideas deserved a more careful writing from this talented SF writer.
David Bonesteel
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Testing their newly developed teleportation technology, a scientist and his team discover that their test subjects are being shifted into parallel universes whose difference from the universe of origin increases in proportion to the distance the subject has been sent. Not a bad idea for a novel, but John Brunner fails to develop his theme adequately in this thin volume. Brunner's forte is really more toward the societal aspects of speculative fiction rather than technological extrapolation, yet ...more
Jim Neeley
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was good, what at first I thought was going to be a simple transporter story, turned into much more. I'd recently watched the PBS show on physics and string theory, so the alternate universe theme was very interesting. The idea of pilgrims, traveling to these universes and how they'd be welcomed and how they'd react, is a great plot line. A much more positive view on mankind in the end, more hopeful that Stand on Zanzibar. Slightly dated in dialog, at points, but Brunner hits the nail on th ...more
Joshua Cottrell
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful little Sci-Fi story that plays with the Many World Interpretation. There are many nonsense terms used in the story to explain strange scientific concepts, but the story manages to stay pretty well grounded. :3
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Grade B-.
Jan 09, 2012 added it
Ok, I broke a classic rule. I judged this book by its cover, I love it so much. Anyway, I am enjoying it so far.
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Acceptable "what if" sci fi. Nothing much to write home about, but not bad either. ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not the John Brunner I am accustomed to.

Ed Rich
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Sep 25, 2011
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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie Ro ...more

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